Overview of 2012 Denton Annual Citizen Report

Saturday saw many mailboxes stuffed with the City of Denton s annual citizen update, Denton Moving Forward. In this neat little ~6 x 12 fold-out, lots of interesting information about city-related milestones that occurred in 2011 (as well as a few things that are set to happen in the years to come) was compiled together. As far as we know, this pamphlet went out to every City of Denton Utilities member. For those of you who either didn t receive a copy or accidentally threw it out along with your Bed Bath and Beyond mailer, we ve compiled a list of the eight things that stood out to us as interesting. Read below and if we missed something that you found interesting, let us know in the comments.

1. Remember when Rayzor Ranch was going to be a Southlake Town Center-style shopping center and be comprised of all sorts of interesting shops and maybe a movie theatre or something? Well guess what. We re moving even further away from the initial vision and installing another big box store next to the Wal-Mart and Sam s Club that have been sitting there for a while. That s right, folks, soon, you ll be able to buy boring clothing and housewares from...Kohl s on University.

2. The City of Denton has a Youtube channel featuring videos with DPL s Library Larry and newsbreaks from Denton TV. It s bested only by the ex-pat Eli Gemini s Youtube channel.

3. Denton is going to be making quite a few bike-friendly changes in the immediate future. The cover of Denton Moving Forward is even covered in sharrows. You can read the newly adopted Bike Plan here. There you can see how Denton plans on reducing traffic accidents, creating more cycling-related facilities such as Querencia and gradually turning Denton into a bike sports destination over the next ten years.

4. The Denia Recreation Center in South Denton has a 35 black-light mural in their gymnasium that you need 3D glasses to see. Yes, this is for real. We ve never really thought of Pink Floyd s The Wall as good workout music, but when you ve got a black light 3D mural near you, what other choice do you have?

5. The grand re-opening for the Golden Triangle Mall is actually expected to happen in 2012. Apparently construction has already begun, but we re unsure as to what exactly has been changed at this point.

6. Thanks to a grant from Think Green Waste Management, Keep Denton Beautiful will be installing solar-powered trash and recycling receptacles around Fry Street. They should be perfect receptacles for that post-Lou s-binger vomit.

7. In addition to the awesome selection of ebooks that the Denton Public Library has already added to their selection, the DPL is also making a move towards RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology for checking books back in and out in an extremely-timely fashion.

8. North Lakes Park is making a move to be more friendly to the blind and other visually impaired by adding in things such as tactile bricks.

Notable Absences from the pamphlet:

DCTA changes made in the past year. (A-Train anybody?)
Construction on Fry St. (when the heck is that supposed to be finished and what type of retail will we see there?)
Business moving in a north-eastern direction from the square (NV Cupcakes, Oak Street Drafthouse)

The Proposed Smoking Ban

As you already know, there are talks of instituting a smoking ban in Denton (here's a link to the presentation given about the proposed ban). True to character, much of Denton is highly opinionated on the subject (tell the city your opinion at Engage Denton). We had two fake Dentonites tell us their side of the story. Below you can read the reasons why Linda is pro-ban and why Vernon is anti-ban. Tell us your side in the comments!


Hi! I'm Linda and these are my five self-absorbed reasons for wanting a smoking ban in Denton. 

My wardrobe. Granted, not everyone has quite as fabulous a wardrobe as mine, but who wants to come away from a bar with their blazer reeking of cigarettes? I mean, I know this is Denton and on any given day you can find bar-goers in jeans and a hoodie (both easily machine washable), but for those of us who like to wear fine fabrics... I don’t want to have to take my outfit to the dry cleaner just so I can rid my closet of the smell of burnt tobacco.

My dining experience. For anyone who dines in the bar section of local restaurants, cigarette smoke is a nuisance. My epicurean escapade is ruined by the palette-pulverizing aroma of cigarette smoke.

Fuckin’ A!-- and by that, I mean fuckin’ allergies. Red, dry eyes. Hacking cough. I can literally feel my sinus cavities decomposing as I sit in a bar with poor ventilation, surrounded by nicotine addicts. Like literally, the insides of my face start sizzling, then drying and cracking open. I have to wrap a hot towel around my head when I get home, and I curse you, Smoker, every moment of it.

Sanitation. Where do you think all that smoke settles? Besides in my clothes and hair and sinuses.... It’s settling on the surface of your cocktail or beer. On your bar snacks. On the counters, chairs, on the floor being kicked up with every shuffle and step. Cleanliness is godliness, folks. Think of how good all of our drinks would taste without the film of nicotine and tar on top?!

Health. If secondhand smoke can give a baby asthma or an octogenarian pneumonia, even the healthiest of young adults can suffer the consequences of the smokers in the place. Greedy, uncaring indoor smokers! Shame on you!

Counterpoint with Vernon

Hi, I’m Vernon and I smoke. I’ve smoked since the day I turned twelve and I’ll continue to do so until I’m two hundred and twelve. Also, believe it or not, but you enjoy my smoke. I’m the dude who blew smoke in your face that one time at Paschall Bar when you beat me at darts. I’m the guy that created that thick haze that prevented you from spying on the curly-haired dude in Peopleodian at Rubber Gloves last semester. I’m in your life, and I won’t be going anywhere.

Think of how much I add to your life. Without me, you’d taste what the food you’re trying to eat actually tastes like (spoiler: the black bean sauce at Mr. Chopsticks doesn’t actually taste like that). Without me, your clothes wouldn’t reek all the time and more people would talk to you (who wants that?!). Face it; without me, your life would suck.

That’s why I’m proposing the opposite of a smoking ban. I want to bring back smoking EVERYWHERE.

Let’s bring back smoking at the gas station. I need something to breathe in other than the fumes of spilled gasoline, people. I’m careful with where I ash, though. Don’t worry.

Let’s start smoking at hospitals! Listen, I know you just had a baby, but I really want him to first see me at my coolest -- with a cigarette in my hand. Maybe start making baby cigarettes, too!

Lest I forget smoking at school! Got a fourth grader who says his Austrailian Shephred ate his homework? Forget detention. No smoking in class for a week. I guarantee you, he’ll have his shit finished in time next week.

Besides, cigarettes play a larger part in your life than you know. How will you be able to tell apart good parents from bad parents unless you can see them smoking around their children?

You know what makes those lattes you get at Jupiter House taste so darned good? That’s right, ground-up Newports. Mmmm tar crema.

The staff at the Denton Record Chronicle is even paid in packages of Marlboro’s. Word on the street is that Editor in Chief, Dawn Cobb, is bringing home four cases a month.

What will people hold in their hands to avoid looking awkward at parties? There’s nothing, people. I’ve checked. I’ve tried sticks, my iPhone and even small-sized melons, but all of my attempts were futile. And don’t we all know that standing around awkwardly at parties only leads to one thing -- teen pregnancies.

And with that, I implore you, fellow Dentonites, don’t ban the smoke; just smoke and smoke a lot.


11 Things that Happened in Denton in 2011

2011 was an okay - good year in Denton. Below are 11 things that were important in some way, shape or form to the town. We're sure to be missing a few. Add what things you thought were important in the comments. 

1. Denton was overrun by breakfast cafes.
2011 was the year local business tried to give Old West a run for it’s money. First, the biscuit-heavy Loco Cafe opened on Congress about mid-year and then the partially-vegan Seven Mile Cafe (which we apparently need to try again) followed shortly after. In addition, what was originally a day and night affair, Denton Square Donuts, recently changed their hours to breakfast and lunch only (with the exception of Friday nights), as well. Where will you be eating your brunch, Denton? Are there enough people in town to support this many local am eateries? 

2. A-Train
While the powers-that-be continued to push for the widening of 35E, DCTA unleashed the A-Train and Denton took notice. While it might have hit a few cars while traveling (and a person), it still enables Dentonites to hop over to larger D while reading the latest Haruki Murakami book. In addition, it brought our local biz a few o’ them fancy Dallas folk with all their spending money.

3. New UNT Football Stadium

UNT/Apogee a dot on the Denton skyline next to the TWU towers and Morrison's Corn Kits this year when they finished building their new stadium. While it was heavily maligned during much of it’s conception, we haven’t heard much complaining since. The addition of the three eco-friendly wind turbines next door also helps.

4. Kevin Roden elected
Longtime drinker and thinker, Kevin Roden, was elected to city council to serve in district 1 this year. Roden has already shaken things up quite a bit in his short time in office and seems to be a much needed catalyst to getting things done in Denton.

5. Eli Gemini moved away
A longtime friend of We Denton Do It, Eli Gemini, moved from Denton to Hollywood, CA this year. After his brief stint as host of Eli’s Monday Minute, he ran once more for city council, directed a short film on gay culture at UNT and then promptly moved to California. He will be missed.

6. Mellow Mushroom/Love Shack opened on square
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, a few slightly less-than-local businesses continued to open on the square this year. And while the fact that Mellow Mushroom spent $800,000 revitatlizing their location is an argument being used against food carts in Denton, it did warm our hearts to see the pizzeria man a booth on the square during the tree lighting. We’ll take Crooked Crust over any other pizza in town, though.

7. TWU Land Acquisition
Sometimes TWU buys and demolishes houses over by Austin St. to, “eliminate possible criminal activity.” Um...okay. In all fairness, they also say that the spaces left by the demolished homes will be used for future expansion. Kevin Roden pushed for some of the homes to be preserved, but it appears that TWU is still at it.

8. Gas wells
Remember that earthquake we felt a few weeks ago, many point to the many gas rigs surrounding (and inside of) Denton as the cause. Aside from earthquakes, air and water quality are also issues of concern that went mostly unattended this year.

9. 35 Denton’s Continued Growth
35 Denton had a banner year last year with Big Boi and many other high-profile artists. Closing down a portion of Hickory St. also showed that the city now seems to have an interest in throwing the yearly festival a bone every now and then.

10. Bike Friendlier
With the addition of sharrows, bike racks and more bike lanes not only around UNT, but Denton in general, 2011 was a stellar year for those atop two wheels.

11. National attention for larger music groups
While 2011 might have been slightly quieter on the music front than normal during 2011, Denton did have a fair share of local acts getting national attention. Seryn and Sarah Jaffe received much national attention (yes, even from media outlets other than Paste).


What are we missing here? Tell us in the comments!